What To Do When a Van is Stolen & Using GPS as Van Protection

What to do when your van is stolen and how GPS can act as van protection and save your business £16,000. Discover how to protect your fleet today.
Stolen van

Van protection is of great importance for company vehicles. Every year thousands of cars disappear in the UK, of which very few are recovered. More than 150,000 vehicles were reported as stolen between 2018 and 2019. This indicates a stark increase in the number of vans stolen compared to just the past few years. 

The Data

According to a RAC Insurance spokesperson, Simon Williams, this is a cause for concern: “These figures paint a rather disturbing picture – vehicle thefts are on the rise almost everywhere, and in some parts of the country numbers are rocketing.” 

A survey conducted by Vimcar supported the above findings. After speaking with thousands of electricians across the UK regarding vehicle misuse, 1 out of every 3 employers reported having a vehicle stolen in the past.

Read more: Electricians And Their Fleet: Survey’s Key Findings

The numbers also indicate that thieves aren’t picky. Whether you rely on a private, pool car or company car for work, no vehicle is immune to theft. According to Fleet News, “an average fleet loses around £16,000 per year as a result of vehicle or equipment theft”. However the cost is significantly steeper for larger fleets of 100 to 250 vehicles, amounting to an average loss of nearly £50,000.

Equipment loss and it’s ensuing costs are burdensome, but the pain points don’t end there. Having a company car or van stolen can seriously delay the business process. Many vehicles are taken abroad immediately after the theft. If the car is then dismantled for parts, there is little hope in retrieving it. 

Measures To Take For Van Protection

Though the data is disheartening and no one method can offer absolute security, there are various measures designed to prevent or dissuade the theft of your company van or lorry. Some of the most common theft prevention measures include:

GPS And Electronic Systems For Van Protection

One of the popular features of a fleet management program is its GPS tracking functionality. Different programs vary slightly, but with Vimcar’s Fleet Geo for example, the GPS van protection module is discreetly installed in the vehicle, with either a small OBD connector or a telematics box which sits safely under the bonnet. 

The hardware includes a software, accessible through desktop or mobile app, where the fleet manager can call up the live coordinates of all pool cars and vans. For van protection fleet managers can create areas or zones, like a company car park, in which a vehicle should not be moved from. 

These areas or zones created within the software are called geofences. If a vehicle is moved outside this geofence, the fleet manager will receive a warning notification immediately. It is also possible to set a time frame – or time fence – in which a vehicle should not be moved. These timefence and geofence alerts can be combined as well, in order to prevent a vehicle from being moved from a specific location during certain hours, for example, managers can be alerted when a fleet vehicle is moved from the office premises outside of business hours.

Can You Really Protect Your Van From Being Stolen?

It was recently reported that a construction company located in New Jersey was able to prevent the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars simply because they had a fleet management software installed in their vehicles. Thieves tried making off with the construction company’s truck, along with a trencher and roughly $300,000 worth of equipment. Thanks to geofencing capabilities the company knew as soon as the truck had left their lot. By combining geofence alerts and telematics tracking the construction company was able to get their assets back quickly.

If a van is stolen, it can be located with a GPS live vehicle tracking system and the coordinates found can then be forwarded to the police. The GPS anti-theft device is well camouflaged and installed inconspicuously. For example, with the Vimcar Box, the tracking device is installed on the battery, out-of-sight of thieves. In case the dongle or box is located and removed by an unauthorised party you will immediately be notified.

Read more: HGV Hours Simplified

Your Van Has Been Stolen, Now What?

For van protection, a software with motion detectors is favorable. Follow these steps to protect your company fleet and respond appropriately in the event of theft:

  1. Have the fleet manager install the GPS tracking device on all company pool vehicles.
  2. Create a time and geofences for your vehicles. If your van or car is parked on a construction site, for example, the time fence could be from 18:00 to 07:00 and the geofence area could include the entirety of the construction site.
  3. If a vehicle has been moved conflicting with either the time fence or the geofence alarms, the vehicle manager will immediately receive a notification by e-mail or push message to their mobile phone.
  4. It is important to act immediately and file a police report within 24 hours.
  5. Dial 101 and ask to be put through to your local police.
  6. Be sure to have your vehicle’s registration number, make, model and colour. All this information can be found in your Vimcar Fleet Geo vehicle profile.
  7. With a live GPS tracking feature it will be easy to monitor the movement of the vehicle and supply the police with exact coordinates.
  8. In most cases when the police are able to retrieve a stolen van it is thanks to the live tracking feature within a fleet management software.

Read more: HGV Hours Simplified

The Fastest Way To Recover Your Stolen Van

Dealing with a stolen company van is stressful, costly and could result in never seeing the vehicle again. Furthermore when a van is stolen, that is one less vehicle available for business purposes, which can be damaging to customer relationships. The less time it takes to get a vehicle returned to you the less the disruption will cost – a GPS tracker will speed up that process.

With Vimcar Fleet Geo installed and tracking your vehicles you can rest assured that your fleet is well protected. A Vimcar Box is small and discreet, and lets you track in real-time. And you can create instant push or email alerts with our geofence features. Don’t be caught unprepared, speak to one of our Vimcar experts today.

Read more: Trackers On Vans – Explained & Live Fleet GPS Tracking

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